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Safety Message From the Superintendent

Dear District 47 Parents and Guardians,

The safety of our students and staff is a top priority, and I know that you share that priority with us. The past several years have taken a toll on adults’ and children’s mental health and social-emotional well-being. Some students lack maturity and the interpersonal skills needed to interact appropriately with their peers and other adults. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in the number of students struggling with behavior at school this year. In some cases, the behavior manifests itself as students making threatening statements/pictures or posting threatening comments and photos online. Whether said or posted in a moment of frustration with a peer/teacher or intended to be a joke, all threats are taken seriously and each case that is reported to us is investigated and, when appropriate, involves the local police department to help evaluate the credibility of the threat. 

One thing we want to make sure our families understand is the many ways the district interacts and collaborates with our local police department. Just because there is a police car in our parking lot or an officer is seen inside our schools does not mean there is a crisis or threat to safety. Below are some of the ways our local police department supports our schools on a daily basis. 

  • Community engagement initiatives (visiting classrooms, participating in school events and assemblies, etc.)

  • Investigations involving reported threats, use of drugs/tobacco or damage to property

  • Canine drug sweeps 

  • Medical concerns (students/staff)

  • Routine law enforcement training

  • Assisting in de-escalating behavior

  • Providing mental health support and community resources

School safety requires a shared commitment and partnership between the district and the community to maintain a safe space where students can learn and grow and staff can work without fear. Here are a few critical ways you can help ensure safety in our schools:

  • Have a conversation with your child about “seeing something, saying something.” Please encourage your child to report any threatening statement or behavior to you, an adult at school, and/or, if appropriate, the police (Call 911 in an emergency or 815-356-3620 for a non-emergency).  

  • Remind your child that threatening statements have severe consequences with local and state authorities in today's world. Threats should never be made as a joke or out of frustration, even if no harm is intended.  

  • Regularly evaluate your child’s access to online platforms and review their online activity with others. 

  • Finally, if you or someone you know needs assistance, please know that there are mental health resources posted on the district website. They are free to access and many are available 24/7. 


Thank you for your continued cooperation.



Dr. Kathy J Hinz, Superintendent